I’m Not A Bad Mom. I Just Feel Like One Today.

I’m not a bad mom. I’m a really good mom who’s had a few really bad days.

In my heart, I know it’s true. But I sometimes can’t get my brain to believe it.

It’s a feeling I’ve been struggling with for a long time, but it’s not something I thought I’d share with anyone. You know how it is: You want the world to think you have it all together, but you’re melting down internally.

I’m three clicks past exhausted, so I’m not as engaged with Baby Bird as I should be. I feel like I’m not doing enough to help her grow, and I wonder if she’d be better off in daycare. I wonder if she’d be happier with them than spending every day with me.

Sometimes we lie in bed in the middle of the day — Baby Bird watches “Dinosaur Train” and nurses, and I cry. They’re tears of sadness (sometimes), frustration (most times), and exhaustion (always).

Sometimes I miss my “old life”: I had the freedom to go, to sleep, to let my mind wander. Less responsibility. I felt like my life had some consistency. I felt like I was really good at my job and knew what I was walking into each day, and now I’m thrown for a loop everyday.

Sometimes I question whether I was ready to be a mom. Sometimes I wonder whether having a baby was a mistake.

I ALWAYS love my daughter — I love her more than anyone else — but sometimes I don’t like being a mom.

Then those thoughts pass and the self-chastising begins. A good mom would NEVER feel like having her child was a mistake. A good mom would be content with her new role, even if she feels incompetent 90 percent of the time because the “job requirements” are ever-changing.

A good mom would have it together by now.

I know the June Cleaver crap is just that — crap. I know what I’m feeling has nothing to do with Baby Bird or how much I love her. It’s the stress of life. It’s the exhaustion wearing on me. But it’s really hard to banish the negativity.

I feel like I’m failing because I’m a control freak and things aren’t going as I’d planned. I want to slow everything down so I can get a handle on the situation, but life doesn’t work that way. Parenting doesn’t work that way.

I know I’m not a bad mom. I’m a freaking awesome mom. I’ve just had a few really bad days. I know the storm will pass, but living through it is tough.

If you’re reading this and you’re having a rough day (or week), and you feel like you’re failing your kids, stop and give yourself a break. Parenting might be the hardest job in the world, and you’re doing it day in and out.

If you’re doing the best you can in this moment, take that as a win and try to do it again in the next few moments.

And take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. It’s not you, it’s just life.

The frustration will pass. The sadness will pass. The storm will pass. I really believe that — I have to believe it.

I’m walking through the rain, too.

Feel Like You're Failing at Motherhood? You're Not Alone

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8 comments

  1. Wow. Thank you so much for this! I feel like this more often than I’d like to admit. I have a 2 year old and 7 month old. I work full time and go to school full time. We are living with my parents at the moment. Some days I break down and feel so upset because I’m not able to give my babies more of my time or because we don’t have our own home. Then sometimes I realize I’m literally doing every I possibly can and feel like super mom. Life is so crazy and stressful, it’s so hard to not let it get you down. It helps knowing I’m not the only one who feels this way. Keep your head up moms!

    • It can be brutal feeling like you’re not doing enough for your little ones, but it sounds like you’re doing more than enough to build the best life possible for your family.
      My goal is just to keep my daughter happy and healthy, and to TRY to be a better mom tomorrow than I am today. So far, I think I’ve been successful.
      Just keep doing your best, and know that you absolutely are not alone. 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

    • The feeling comes and goes, depending on how bad the day has been. But it’s nice to hear that it’s not just me 😊

  2. Awesome post from an awesome mother! Life can be pretty tough for parents, don’t beat yourself up – easier said than done. Ain’t nothing wrong with sending baby birth to day care. A happy mother is a happy child. I work full time, I do think about what this means for my little one, but I know if I was to take care of her 24/7 I would be seriously ill. Where did this ‘mother’s need to be with kids all day’ crap come from? Do what you need to do to find the balance that stops you breaking down in tears, questioning yourself. For me it’s being away from my house, child and chores for the majority of the day. Then it’s neglecting said chores to play with my devil child after work 🙂
    Keep those eyes dry, you are doing an awesome job and thank you for sharing!! x

    • Thanks for the encouragement 😀
      I feel like I’m going a little batty caring for Baby Bird pretty much from 6 a.m. until 2 the next morning. Every. Day. I have to find some balance — and a way to get some rest — before I lose it. And I have to do it before she’s old enough to wonder whethet she’s making Mama sad. I’d never want her to have that misplaced guilt.

  3. Crystal, you are freaking awesome, and no one is perfect all the time. In baseball (I know you love baseball), you’re doing great if you succeed a third of the time — and you’ve got that beat by a mile. Baby Bird is soooo lucky to have you. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • Thank you, Lisa. <3 It just gets really hard some days. But knowing it's not just me helps (as does validation from great friends).

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